Thursday, August 5, 2010
Chic Habits: The At-Home Facial
The at home facial. I have almost but forgotten about at home exfoliation and mask, which I used to do religiously twice a week, or once if I was slack. I have reached a new level of slack. The facial I had recently brought this to light.
My French beauty therapist commented on my skin being a lot more dry and sensitive than it had been the first time she had seen me eight months previous. She said the oil had trouble soaking in when she did the facial massage.
I have always had quite oily skin and had a lot of problems when I was younger with oiliness and acne, right into my twenties, so to hear this I almost don’t believe it. I am almost forty now, so I can’t expect oily skin to keep me looking young forever. And I can't keep using skin products designed for normal/combination skin forever.
She asked if I used a good night cream (the cream I have been using is quite light, not good) and was I exfoliating at home. Um, no.
The silly thing is when I did at home exfoliation-and-mask religiously (1-2 times per week) I really enjoyed the whole process. It felt quite spa-like to be in the bathroom with a basin of warm water, a clean hand-towel folded beside me, hair pulled back with a white toweling headband.
Last night I re-started my at-home routine. First, exfoliation with a gentle, natural scrub. I have also used baking soda but found it made my skin a bit pink. I will persevere with baking soda though as I know it's meant to be gentle. But in the meantime I bought an exfoliating product.
After washing off the scrub, I used the Centella floral mask which I purchased from my French beauty therapist. It can be left on or washed off as it is a moisturising one and does not dry like a clay mask. She said it can be used overnight in place of a night cream. It looks creamy and rich and contains wheatgerm and castor oils, as well as essential oils such as cinnamon bark, citrus, lavender, thyme and rosemary.
I also did my hand scrub. To finish off my home facial, I do a hand scrub, with a divine product I won in a magazine giveaway. It is called One Minute Manicure and the one I have is made from the oils of: walnut, grapeseed, avocado, apricot, jojoba and vitamin E mixed with dead sea salt and essential oils (peppermint, orange, lemon, rosemary, spearmint and ruby grapefruit - yum!).
On dampened hands I pour a small amount and proceed to exfoliate my hands thoroughly (using movements like washing them) taking special care around the drier areas like knuckles and the inside of the index finger. Also around the nails and cuticles. When it is washed off in warm water my hands feel like angels should be singing. They are quite soft from the oil, but I also add a rich hand cream like the delicious L’Occitane shea butter one.
It is actually so lovely to use that I would consider purchasing after my gift one has run out. Of course I would try to make some first with salt and olive oil, but after that maybe.
Why did I stop these face and hand treatments? Why Fiona? Would Sabine lie on the sofa watching tv in preference to beautifying herself? I don’t think so. And it’s not even like the two are mutually exclusive. I can mask, then lie. Thinking about it, mask then meditate is probably a better option. I could dim the lights in our bedroom, leave my husband in the living room, settle myself under a rug with relaxing music playing and then drift off on a rose petal, thinking soothing thoughts.
I bought a copy of ‘The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Short Meditations’ by Susan Gregg and there is a great relaxing exercise in it:
Everyone knows how to visualize, but we all do it differently. While one person may see images, another person may feel them or hear them. This meditation helps you practice visualization. If you try really hard, images often remain elusive, so just allow yourself to relax and have fun.
Think about a beautiful rose. Imagine a single drop of dew on the edge of one of the petals. Allow yourself to gently be with the image. How do you perceive it? If you find yourself saying, ‘I can’t see a rose,’ just let go of that thought and think about a rose. What colour is it? How big is it? Does it have a scent? Can you see any thorns? Just allow yourself to play with the idea of a rose.
Focus on the texture of the petals. Is the rose fully open or is it a bud? Imagine yourself getting really tiny and sliding down the petal of the rose. When you reach the end of the petal, see yourself floating effortlessly in the air.
Is the rose alone, in a garden, or in part of a beautiful bouquet? What does the light feel like as it reflects off your rose? What thoughts and feelings come to mind as you think about a rose?
I can guarantee if you allow yourself to play with the image, you will be able to ‘see’ it. Relax, breathe, and play. Those are three wonderful concepts that can add immensely to the quality of your life.
I chose this book out of all the others at our local Borders bookstore because it seemed the most down-to-earth and simple way to learn how to meditate. It has lots of different tips and many little meditations like the one above, which I have found very helpful as a meditation novice.
So now I'm back in the saddle, one at-home routine behind me and all is well again this morning in the land of beauty. I will do another in 3-4 days. I like to schedule them when I am washing my hair the next morning then I don't have to worry about product getting into my hairline.
If you'd care to join me, please let us know what chic habits you would like to bring into your life, either on your own blog or in the comments here.